Who is Healthy Choices Caring Communities (HC3)?

A Fulton County coalition working to reduce underage

substance use, including alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, and

opiates/prescription drugs.

Our Partners Include:

* Youth * Media * Parents * Schools * Government * Businesses * Law Enforcement *

Faith-based Organizations * Civic Organizations * Health Care Professionals * Youth Organizations * 

Substance Treatment Professionals

Be sure to check out how you can get involved!


Governor Kasich’s office recognizes HC3 Coalition.

Governor Kasich recently honored Healthy Choices Caring Communities with a resolution extending their gratitude for our partnership in the fight against substance-use. This resolution recognizes that “drug addiction and abuse is one of the most challenging problems facing our state, and no community is immune from this threat. Under Governor Kasich’s leadership, Ohio has made attacking the drug problem a priority. To that end, Ohio spends nearly $1 billion a year in a multi-prong approach to fighting this scourge with efforts focusing on prevention, education, treatment and law enforcement interdiction… This is a fight that cannot be won without strong partners like Healthy Choices Caring Communities.”

HC3 Partnership has been working with the local community for over ten years, focusing on youth substance-use prevention and developing the strong coalition partnerships that exist today. During the decade that HC3 has been active in Fulton County, there has been significant progress in our local communities, including a 20% decrease in current alcohol use rates (grades 6th – 12th), a 50% decrease in current alcohol use rates (ages 17 and older), and a 13% decrease in current cigarette use rates (grades 6th – 12th). They have also implemented a targeted task force for each identified substance issue recognized for local youth, one of which is focused specifically on the prevention of opiate and prescription drug misuse.

“Educating our youth and the community about the dangers of substance-use is critically important in this fight as research shows that children are up to 50% less likely to use if a trusted adult talks to them about the dangers of drug abuse.” The Governor and Lieutenant Governor recognize Healthy Choices Caring Communities for the innovative approach they are taking to address these issues, including the #Talk2Me media campaign, which encourages parents, coaches, teachers, religious leaders, law enforcement, siblings, peers and community members to USE THEIR IMPACT and talk to the youth in their lives about the dangers of substance-use. This campaign has many facets, including a partnership with the Fulton County Prosecutors Office creating school spirit shirts with the #Talk2Me logo on the back, a video PSA created by our Youth Advisory Council, local billboards, flyers, blog posts, social media messages (#WeTalked) and an online video contest (#Talk2Me Challenge).

HC3 is making a difference and YOU can help!

Visit our Get Involved page and see how.


HC3 meets monthly to stay updated on current underage substance use trends, to participate in educational opportunities, to review relevant data, to determine priorities, and to establish overarching goals for the coalition. 

There are four Task Force groups (Alcohol Task Force, Marijuana Task Force, Opiate Task Force, and Tobacco Task Force) which meet on a regular basis to assess, build capacity, plan, implement, and evaluate strategies for those specific substances utilizing evidence based programs and activities.

The Coalition is also supported by the Publicity Committee who works to share the work of the coalition and task forces. Additionally the coalition is fortunate to have many Coalition Champions, individuals or organizations, within the community, who do not attend meetings but work with the coalition on a specific strategy or event.

Alcohol Task Force

Underage alcohol use is the most common

substance use issue for Fulton County youth. 

According to the 2016 Community Health Status Report

  • 9% of youth, grades 9th – 12th would be defined as a “current drinker” meaning they have consumed alcohol within the past 30 days. 
  • Underage users reported they got the majority of their alcohol from someone who gave it to them. 
  • Of those who drink, youth report 30% of the time, a parent is the provider of the alcohol. We have seen a 4% increase in this rate between the 2014 and 2016

To address the alcohol issue, the Alcohol Task Force has focused on increased awareness of the issue by community adults and parents through Community Conversations. We have worked to build skills by strengthening parenting skills through our parenting series "Parents.. It’s YOUR Call." In partnership with Ohio Investigative Unit, we provide Seller-Server Training to ensure our retailers are aware of Ohio’s Liquor laws and conduct Compliance Checks to verify compliance with the law. The Alcohol Task Force, in conjunction with Marijuana Task Force, provide financial support for area parent groups providing a substance-free event following high school proms. We work with local law enforcement at the city, village, county and state level to host “party patrols” around high risk drinking times such as Thanksgiving Eve, prom and graduation season.

Marijuana Task Force

Seven percent of Fulton County youth (grades 9th – 12th) reported being current users of marijuana in the 2016 Community Health Status Report.

The Marijuana Task Force works in conjunction with the Alcohol Task Force to host Community Conversations to help parents and community adults understand the health and safety concerns of using marijuana and connection between marijuana use and additional drug use. Our parenting series, along with Community Conversation presentations, and the #Talk2Me campaign help to build parents' skills around talking with their youth about the dangers of substance use. The Task Force also provides many professional training and community presentations on drug paraphernalia and concealment items. 

Opiate Task Force

3% of Fulton County youth are current users of prescription drugs not prescribed to them. This increase to 5% for those youth age 17 and older. 30% of Fulton County youth, ages 12 -18 report availability of prescription drugs not prescribed to them. (Health Status Report, 2016) 

The Opiate Task Force is focusing on educating parents, community adults, and young people on the dangers of misuse of prescription and over the county medications and to decrease access to prescription medication. Education and skill building around these issues is provided through Community Conversations, Hidden in Plain Sight display, and school based programs such as DARE and Too Good for Drugs provided by community partners. The Opiate Task Force is working to reduce access to prescription opiates through our Drug Collection Boxes. In addition to the twice yearly DEA sponsored Drug Take Back Day, HC3’s law enforcement partners provide residents with 5 locations throughout the community which are available daily for disposal of unwanted medications. These boxes are promoted with a partnership with area surgeons and pharmacies.

Tobacco Task Force

The Task Force works to remain updated on current tobacco trends and provide professional, community, and student training on the health and safety concerns of using tobacco. In partnership with the Fulton County Health Department, we provide support to the STAMP program in area middle schools.

Publicity Committee

The HC3 Publicity Committee works with the Task Forces to develop a communication plan to ensure our messaging is targeted to the correct audience and helps to increase the impact of the coalition. They are the driving force behind our website as well as our social media outlets.

2018 Coalition Awards Presented


“Being chosen as one of the YAC Members of the Year is an honor!  I love working with my peers through this organization to find and solve the problems that are so prevalent in our community.  YAC prepares me to be a change maker not only in high school, but for years to come.”

 Sarah Schwan, YAC Member of the Year

On Tuesday, June 12th, Healthy Choices Caring Communities (HC3) awarded Sauder Village (Steve Van Sickle) and Scott Haselman, 2017-18 Coalition Champion of the Year.   This is an annual award for community partners who go “above and beyond” to support HC3’s countywide efforts in reducing underage substance use.


Scott Haselman, Fulton County Prosecutor, has been an instrumental force in the development of both the Opiate Task Force as well as the #Talk2Me Social Norms Campaign.  Scott regularly attends the HC3 coalition meetings as a guest, providing valuable insight into substance use issues in Fulton County from the judicial perspective.  He routinely supports HC3 Partnership, providing funding for the #Talk2Me Campaign school spirit shirts for all Fulton County middle school students, allowing HC3 to share information about resources as well as promoting the #Talk2Me Campaign. 


During the development of the #Talk2Me Campaign, HC3 needed a grand prize for our Talk2Me Challenge video contest and approached Sauder Village to ask for a discounted vacation package.  In response to that request, Sauder Village generously donated the entire “Sauder Village Family Get-Away” package.  The partnership with Steve Van Sickle and Sauder Village helped to drive the success of this challenge, reaching a significant number of Fulton County community members.


The 2017-18 Coalition Member of the Year awards were also presented during the Healthy Choices Caring Communities meeting to Tante Lovins and Toni Schindler.  This award is given annually to members of the HC3 coalition who have demonstrated exemplary service for the coalition and the community.


Toni Schindler serves as the Chair of our Publicity Committee and works tirelessly to offer ideas and support for these publicity efforts.  She is a creative, “out of the box” thinker who uses data to determine how to make the biggest impact.  She has been a key partner for the #Talk2Me Campaign and utilizes her connections within the community to share the work of HC3.  Toni tirelessly gives her time, energy and expertise to help the coalition gain a better understanding of the youth substances issues in Fulton County and collaborates with the community to prevent and reduce these issues. 


Tante Lovins and the United Way of Fulton County have been supporters of HC3 from the beginning.  Their financial support and willingness to encourage community support of this organization has allowed HC3 to build the firm foundation the coalition enjoys today.  Tante is faithful in her meeting attendance, serves on both Alcohol Task Force as well as our Publicity Committee, and is always willing to say yes to requests for her time, expertise, and energy. 


The final awards presented by HC3 were the 2017-18 YAC Member of the Year awards.  Youth Advisory Council (YAC) members were asked to submit recommendations for member of the year based on whom they thought offered the best overall contribution to the group’s success.  This year’s awards recognize two exemplary students, Falcon Hassenzahl and Sarah Schwan. 


Falcon Hassenzahl is a first-year YAC member who has shown great commitment and dedication to the program.  He is passionate about working to better the community and motivates others to take action as well.  Falcon inspires his fellow members with his energy, enthusiasm and great ideas.  When asked to describe why he should be chosen for member of the year, Falcon said, “Never have I felt so empowered to take action as I have while being a member of YAC.” 


Sarah Schwan, a two-year YAC member, served on the leadership board this past year.  Sarah consistently plans social events for YAC members and takes a tremendous leadership role within the group.  Fellow YAC members cite Sarah as an extremely organized and hardworking member who shows a constant positive attitude.  She is very active within the group and went the extra mile to help coordinate the planning and execution of our spring project. 


HC3 is making a difference and YOU can help!   

Visit our Get Involved page and see how.

Shown Below from left to right:  Scott Haselman, Toni Schindler, Sharon Morr, Tante Lovins, Karen Pennington, 

Falcon Hassenzahl, Steve Van Sickle, (not shown: Sarah Schwan)

Celebrating 10 years!

HC3 is showing excellent long term results after 10 years in Fulton County!

Click here to see our 2017 annual report.